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Why Automated Phone Systems SUCK

You’ve been there. You know what I’m talking about. Why do companies insist on making our lives difficult by implementing horrible automated phone systems?

Why we hates them

In case you are new to the planet, or have never had the opportunity of calling most any giant corporate business via telephone, here is a typical scenario:

  • Phone call answered by a machine
  • Recorded voice speaks very slowly
  • Makes you press a button to choose a language
  • Have to enter your account/business information
  • Have to navigate through a maze of menu options
  • Have to wait forever on hold before getting through to a human
  • Have to listen to horrible music and/or advertisements while on hold
  • Have to listen to all sorts of irrelevant, useless information
  • Then you have to repeat your account/business information for the support person, who somehow, despite the million-dollar automated system, did not receive the information
  • Have to speak very slowly and then interpret some thick foreign accent
  • Have to answer endless generic questions until the script fits your situation
  • Have to endure slow speaking, zonked out phone reps who have zero clues
  • Before the call ends, the sales person tries to sell you something else
  • And then after the ordeal, you can waste even more of your precious time answering a customer survey that will be ignored completely

I can count on this scenario unfolding just about every time I call some big company. They’re either doing it intentionally, or they really have no idea. Either of these possibilities is pathetic. Yet, the suits keep pushing their crap phone systems on their customers. As if it is going to help anything. This is one of many reasons why I choose to do business with small, local companies whenever possible. The fat cats are out of touch with reality.

So what’s the big deal?

The “big deal” is that millions of paying customers should not have to subject themselves to such inefficient, automated lunacy. Contrast the above mega-corporate phone system with the simple and direct experience you’ll get when calling a typical small business:

  • Phone call answered by a human being
  • Provides the required information/support
  • Done.

That is 1,000,000,000 times better than being treated like cattle in some limited, over-engineered, automated telephone service. From the customer’s perspective, there simply is no comparison. One is fast, efficient, and makes you feel good. The other is slow, tedious, monotonous, frustrating, condescending, humiliating, and a HUGE waste of time.

Adios amigos!

I would LOVE to hear the honest reasons why huge companies decide to punish their users with horrible automated phone systems. If you think it’s saving your company money, think again. Instead, it’s pissing off your customers and ruining your reputation. In the long run, you’ll pay for your cheesy automated phone garbage with lost customers and lost revenue.

About the Author
Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Book Author. Secretly Important.
.htaccess made easy: Improve site performance and security.

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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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